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High Covid Numbers Mean Changes To Contact Tracing

There were 201 COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday (85) and Thursday (116). So far this week we have had 459 cases. This breaks a record we set in August 2021 of 284 in one week, and the week is not over. So far, we have a total of 725 cases in January and 4,709 during the pandemic. There are 2 people in local hospitals today with COVID-19, both are in the ICU. The COVID numbers that we are aware of are at the highest they have ever been since the start of the pandemic. The Omicron variant is extremely transmissible and contagious. It is also very good at evading initial immunity that you gained through your primary vaccination series. If you can, go get a booster shot as soon as possible. A booster will significantly increase your protection against a severe COVID-19 illness.

Change in Investigations and Contact Tracing

Based on new guidelines published on January 10, 2022 by the Oregon Health Authority and the number of cases reported to public health daily, we decided to halt contact tracing (CT) and case investigations (CI) as of today, January 14, 2022.

Even though we are stopping traditional CT and CI, we will still be there for our community members who fall sick with COVID-19. The Lincoln County Health team will reach out to everyone for whom they received a COVID-19 positive test result. The will focus on providing education on isolation recommendations, ask people to let their contacts know of their diagnosis and they will ask about any services they may need to comply with isolation or quarantine. The county will promote vaccinations and the importance of getting a booster to be better protected against Omicron. The call center will be open to help answer questions. 541-265-0621 or email LincolnCoCallCenter@co.lincoln.or.us

Testing supplies

Yesterday, (1/13/2022) Oregon Health Authority (OHA) provided information on where the 6 million boxes of at-home tests they purchased will go.

· Hospitals and schools.

· Local public health authorities and tribal governments.

· Community-based organizations that serve communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

· Head Start programs.

· Organizations who serve agricultural workers and

· Organizations that serve the homeless.

Lincoln County Public Health has not received any testing supplies from OHA yet.

This supply of tests is different than what the federal government has committed to sending. The initial batch of federal test kits will be available starting next week. There will be a website where you can request the test kits. When it is active we will link to it on our Lincoln Count website. The rest of the tests will be delivered over the coming months.

Test supplies are in high demand at this time and are recommended for:

· Individuals with moderate to severe illness who require medical care

· Individuals with symptoms or exposure at high risk for complications

If you don't have access to a test and have cold or flu-like symptoms, assume you have COVID and stay isolated for 5 days. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask. If you have access to a surgical or a KN95 mask they will do a better job at protecting you than a cloth mask.

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